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Healthcare in Ireland

Amy Baker

The Irish public healthcare system is divided up into two separate categories. Which category you are qualified for will determine what range of medical services you are entitled to.

Category one – you will have a medical card which entitles you to a complete range of medical services at no cost to you.

Category two – there will be some limitations upon what medical services you can qualify for. Although you will be eligible for some free healthcare, you will not be entitled to nearly as much as those in category one.

Pensioners and people who are working in Ireland will receive a medical card automatically, although it won’t hurt to get your S1 form from the Department of Work and Pensions just in case you are questioned about your eligibility. If you are retiring to the Republic of Ireland, in addition to healthcare, you are entitled to your UK state retirement pension as well as incapacity benefit at the long-term rate, widows’ and bereavement benefits.

It is also worth noting that if you are over the age of 65, you are entitled to free home visits from a nurse and occupational therapy at no charge, regardless of whether you possess a medical card or not.

For a low fee, you can get Meals on Wheels and a home health service. It is also possible to receive a grant to cover the costs of any house alterations that you might need to help you with mobility.

What is the healthcare like?

Just like in the UK, the Irish public healthcare system often gets criticised for waiting times and the level of care received. For this reason, many people opt to pay for private health insurance. As is the case with finding the best health insurance package for you anywhere in the world, it is best to shop around to be sure you get the best deal for you and for your individual healthcare needs.

You can get more information about registering for a medical card by visiting the Citizens Information website [LINK: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/].


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